Went back in yesterday afternoon, too see if things had stabilized. They had, which I had thought would be the verdict. My big gray floater has mostly moved off to the side, the flashes seem to have ended, the black specks still hover at the edge of my vision (leaving me, from time to time, reacting to things that only I can see but which are really there, just very near and tiny instead of farther away and huge) and the hordes of tiny ones are as ignorable as ever.
It's more weird than horrible and remember, this is the good outcome. As I understand it, if you're nearsighted enough, it's practically inevitable that something like this will happen -- and the other things like this involve retina tears or detachment. Instead, the big blob of gel that fills the eye came away from my retina and some floaters got in, really the lest-bad outcome by a very wide margin.
This is all well and good but in the meantime, arranging things so the ophthalmologist can take a very good look involves not the usual simple set of eye drops but three different ones: a topical numbing agent (!) and two different dilating ones. Last time, it was a fine gray fall day and I went out for leisurely lunch afterwards, shielded by my sunglasses. Yesterday, the plan was to go back to work.
That was the plan, and a fine cold, clear day it was. I put my sunglasses on as the doctor walked me back to the lobby and even there, I was noticing light sources and brightly-illuminated surfaces had a bit of a glow, a sunburst or "glory" effect. It was a bit after 4 p.m. when I paid up and walked out, squinting -- and was blinded by the glare when I turned to go west on the sidewalk! If I looked up facing the Sun, there was nothing but a golden fog, though which slightly darker shapes drifted.
By looking down and holding up a hand, I made it to the corner and around to my car. I flipped down sun visors and managed to drive slowly down shady side streets to home, a bit under a mile and all stoplights or 4-way stops, and by that point, I was plain done. The sun was streaming into the kitchen over the cafe curtains* and bouncing from the tiled surfaces and it was somehow worse than outdoors. Bright golden lances were coming in the dining room widows and through the "piano window" high in the living room wall, but at least it was dimmer. My bedroom is set up with blackout shades and curtains; I threw my coat on a hook and headed there mostly on somatic memory. Sat in the dark and thought; called my boss and confessed I was not going to be back and why, and laid down. Ten minutes later, work rang back with a trivial question, which was both insulting and predictable: it was a fine, sunny day, and I suppose someone whose pupils weren't so dilated you could barely see the iris might've been tempted to play hooky. Me, after that call I tried looking at Facebook on my phone through sunglasses (not a good idea, too bright), then laid in the dark until I fell asleep.
The cats woke me at their dinner time, which was after sundown -- sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat proved necessary to cope with the overhead lights and I still found looking up was not a good idea. The computer room/study was a particular nightmare; the kitchen was bearable I grabbed myself a little snack while the cats ate and returned to the blissful darkness. At some point, I woke up again and changed to sleepwear,† turned on my Kindle with the brightness way way down, and started a new story in the anthology I was reading. It was about a landing on Mercury that turned out to be too close to the sunward side.‡ For some reason it was particularly vivid. I still fell asleep halfway through.
* Boys, that means the curtain rods are only about halfway up the windows. This is normally a nice, sunny arrangement. Yesterday it was more of a nightmare. I find I have a little more sympathy for vampires than previously.
† For the imaginative, I am sorry to ruin whatever image you have but at this time of the year, heavy flannel is standard.
‡ It was an old story -- it turns out Mercury isn't stuck with one side facing the Sun after all, and there went some striking SF images.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago